In a move that is bewilderingly shocking to some news outlets, Amazon has acquired AmieStreet.com for an undisclosed amount. The move, however, could have been viewed as inevitable, since Amazon has been funding Amie Street since 2007.
What should be the focal point of surprise for most is that Amazon plans to shut down the AmieStreet.com services as of September 22nd. AmieStreet.com has been a seller of downloadable music since 2006. Its unique roots were its pricing; songs became more expensive, capping at a maximum of $.99 per song, based on how many people purchased them. The more popular, the greater the cost. In stark contrast to this is Amazon’s own music download service, Amazon MP3, which has a set price similar to Apple’s iTunes.
It appears as though Amazon will shift AmieStreet.com’s customers over to that format exclusively, as it was announced to users in e-mail that a $5.00 credit towards Amazon MP3 purchases would be given to them when AmieStreet.com shuts up shop.
According to paidContent, AmieStreet.com customers were also told to use up existing credits for songs and grab any outstanding downloads they may have on the site prior to the closing date; neither would remain available after the 22nd.
Perhaps AmieStreet.com’s strongest selling point has been its social networking features, something Apple has been scrambling to achieve with their popular but as-yet flawed iTunes Ping service. The crew behind AmieStreet.com, Amie Street, Inc., are now shifting their efforts to another social media and streaming music site: Songza.com. Songza was acquired by the company in 2008. Songza’s focus is user-created “radio stations” streaming music from a catalog of nearly 8 million songs. Songza is now in an open beta phase.